The ABCs Of A PMV For Your UPS

We give the lowdown on what goes on during a preventive maintenance visit (PMV).

As data centres and other mission-critical facilities enter the busy period of summer maintenance, we speak with three different magazines about the importance of a PMV.

We feature in the latest editions of Data Centre Review, Data Centre Management, and Tomorrow’s Facilities Management (FM).

The articles highlight how giving your UPS system a little bit of TLC with a PMV can significantly improve performance and efficiency.

A planned preventive maintenance visit should take place at least annually. They are included in an ongoing UPS maintenance plan, but are available on an ad-hoc basis too. Think of them as a “health check” similar to an annual service on your car.


A preventive maintenance visit on your UPS will typically start with a thorough visual inspection. This’ll look for any early warning signs of ageing.

It’ll cover the batteries too for signs of swelling, leaks, or corrosion. This is particularly important during the higher summer temperatures.

The next stage sees the engineer check all the electrical connections, and if safe, tighten any that have become loose. Many providers will use advanced thermal imaging technology at this stage to detect these issues.

A preventive maintenance visit also incorporates lots of mechanical and functional tests on the UPS. These are to check how the unit performs under various operating modes, for example online and eco mode.

Certain mission-critical sites, such as data centres, may require more advanced functional checks like a full load bank test.

Engineers will also use a PMV to make sure the UPS is running on the latest software. This might involve installing firmware updates.

Once all the tests and updates are finished, the final part of a PMV sees the engineer fill out a service report. This document includes all key measurements and readings.

It highlights any possible faults. And most importantly, it sets out recommended remedial actions, including whether any parts or consumables could do with replacing.

For example, if capacitors and fans are approaching their end of service life, the report might recommend a UPS overhaul.

Or if the batteries are in year 7-8 (for 10-year design models), the engineer might recommend it’s the appropriate time to replace them.

Competence Is Always Key

Our features also offer an important reminder for facilities managers to check the competence of their service engineer.

A UPS is a highly sophisticated machine with lots of parts and components. It’s not something to simply entrust to a general maintenance technician, it needs specific expertise.

That’s the reasoning behind the Riello UPS Certified Engineer Training Programme. This is something all our engineers and those from official service partners must complete.

Accredited engineers even get their own unique ID so they can prove their competence.